Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Posts tagged “Wildflowers

Light Flows and Caresses The Forest At Dusk

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The dipping light at dusk flows like golden liquid as it caresses the Forest.  Exquisite details emerge as beings appear to greet the impending night. This is not a time for clarity of focus, it is a time to capture a world the waning light chooses to share.

Love to ALL!

Lee


First Aster of Summer Illuminated in the Forest

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“I walk among the sentinels of our Forest listening as they sing to the Universe.” ~ Lee Hiller

Love to ALL!
Lee


New Forest Friend – Eastern Wood Pewee

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I am an inconsistent whistler.  Until today the birds I could imitate with answering results were Hawks, Mockingbirds and Thrashers.  The later two basically taking pity on my lame attempts, plus they imitate everything. I saw a Hawk fly over and did my classic impersonation.  Instead of an answer from above a slightly different call rang out from the Trees to my left.  I scanned the canopy and came up with no sighting.  In an attempt to find the bird with the clear voice  I did my best imitation.  To my amazement it answered back getting closer with each exchange.  In the fading light I was  finally able to spot the sweet little olive brown bird and took several photos.  after a few minutes of musical exchange it flew down toward the trail, turned and hovered within inches my face.  It sang, I sang and then it returned to the branch high above my shoulder.  I thanked the lovely Eastern Wood Pewee for a lovely duet in the fading light.

Love to ALL!
Lee

 


The Wildlife Comes Out At night

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As the heat and humidity rise we have begun enjoying lovely early evening hiking.   We were delighted to see a flock of juvenile Robins that still had speckling on their chests and a lovely Whitetail Deer stepping out onto thepath ahead of us. A colorful Indigo Bunting and Summer Tanager sang beautiful songs above us in the Trees. Fungi and Wildflowers painted the Forest floor attracting mollusks (snail) and Insects (False Bee).

There is no better Soul therapy than escaping in to the Mountains and communing with the Trees and beings who call the park home.

Special thanks to my husband Rick for spot the lovely Whitetail Doe quickly enough so I could get these photographs without startling her.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Rare Find: Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) A Parasitic Wildflower

HSNP Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys)

HSNP Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys)

 

This is the plant geek portion of our programming…

On June 06th of 2010 I was searching for fungi on the trails of Hot Springs National Park and I took a photo that I labeled “Fungi Flowers”.  The past four years I have searched the Upper Dogwood trail for another sighting of the unusual flowers.  On June 17th of 2014 I was bless with a eureka moment and found a cluster of the same plant at a later growth stage.  After further investigation I discovered they are Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) a Parasitic Wildflower.

Location: Hot Springs National Park – Garland County, Arkansas
Mountain: North
Trail: Upper Dogwood
Years: 2010, 2014
GPS (2014 only):
Latitude: 34;31;26.627999999996987
Longitude: 93;2;46.936999999976237
Altitude: 304.8

The USDA cutbacks mean they no longer have anyone accepting images and data regarding rare and endangered plants.  According to the data on their site Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) has not been verified as sighted in Garland County Arkansas. http://plants.usda.gov/java/county?state_name=Arkansas&statefips=05&symbol=MOHY3  I am creating this posting as a record for later use to update their information.

I have sighted and photographed Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) twice on the same trail in separate years but only have GPS data for 2014.

Test below is from the USDA website:
Monotropa hypopitys – Pinesap, Dutchman’s Pipe

Pinesap is an herbaceous perennial wildflower with a wide geographic distribution throughout the United States and Canada. However, Pinesap is a rarely encountered wildflower.

Monotropa hypopitys (Monotropa – once turned; hypopitys – under the pine or fir from its habitat) ranges in height from 10 to 35 centimeters. The entire plant is a pale creamy white, coral pink or red. The leaves are scale-like and occur along the flower stalk (peduncle). The inflorescence is a raceme of 2 to 11 flowers at the tip of the flower stalk. Upon emerging from the ground, the flowers are pendant. As the anthers and stigma mature, the flowers are spreading to all most perpendicular to the stem. The fruit is a capsule. As the capsule matures, the flowers become erect. Once ripened, seed is released through slits that open from the tip to the base of the capsules. The plant is persistent after the seeds have dispersed.”

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Damselflies, Wildflowers and Fungi in Cedar Glades Park

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My husband and I realized we had not been out to Cedar Glades Park in Garland County Arkansas since the government shut down in 2013 that locked us out of Hot Springs National Park.  If you like tall Trees, Fungi, Wildflowers and Insects you will enjoy the various park trails.

I love the Fungi but have no clue the names for the majority of them.  The variety of shapes and colors are wonderful.  It is like an Easter egg hunt in the Forest trying to spot all the unique shape and color combinations.  The numerous rainy days and higher temperature have created a bountiful crop throughout our area in Arkansas.

Love to ALL!
Lee

 


A Subtle Pallet of Color Paints the Edges of Each Trail

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Our curiosity leads us along the path of discovery, often to find ourselves. ~ Lee Hiller

Love to ALL!
Lee


I Love My Office in Hot Springs National Park


Vibrant Prickly Pear Cactus Blossoms

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Celebrate in the Morning light, reborn in our Dreams we greet this new day. ~ Lee Hiller

Love to ALL!
Lee


A Colorful Pallet of Petals

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Nature’s path is clear, Let it lead your Heart toward your Dreams. ~ Lee Hiller


Don’t Take My Flowers

Please don't take my flowers

Please don’t take my flowers

Normally I feel great disappointment when I see graffiti in Hot Springs National Park.  However this message written with a marker on a pine got my attention in a good way.

OH DEER!
Don’t take my flowers
Turn Your Phone on & Video

It has been a constant annoyance to find whole fields of Wildflowers picked or dug up in Hot Springs National Park.  I go hiking in the morning and often by evening when I take a second hike with my husband they have been picked or removed.  These Wildflowers are on protected land, the only one who should pick them are the Wildlife that need them for food.  The plants in the park are there for the enjoyment of all not for a select few who steal them.  These beautiful blossoms do not belong in restaurant salads or for sale by herbalists (yes we have seen your truck in the park).  The many beautiful seasonal plants belong along the trails for ALL to enjoy.

It is with a sad heart I must stop listing the trails on which I spot specific Wildflowers and Fungi as some may be using my blog as a guide for their poaching.


Forgotten Folder of Natures Spring Beauty

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At some point May became a busy month and I lost sight of a folder of photographs.  May 4th 2014  was a beautiful spring morning and my beloved husband and I had a lovely hike in the Forest of Hot Springs National Park.  I saw my first Indigo Bunting and shot into the sun trying to capture even a hint of its beauty within the blinding rays.  A lovely Red Spotted Purple Butterfly land on a leaf above my shoulder and bathed in the early warmth of the sun.  Green enveloped my senses and I was sure each breath carried a taste of spring.  Daisy Fleabane danced in the breeze as a Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly drank nectar from cascading blossoms.  How could I have forgotten these photos?


A Beautiful Mosaic of Spring Emerges From May Showers

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I relinquish the burden of the past to step lightly toward my future. ~ Lee Hiller

May showers arrive as waves of thunderstorms barreling out of Texas and Kansas into Arkansas.  After each passing storm the ground cover thickens and new Wildflowers appear as others multiple across the Forest floor.  A lovely Mourning Dove walks us down the trail as a Male Cardinal and Red-Eyed Vireo serenade. Each colorful Wildflower becomes a tile in an always changing Spring Mosaic.

Another line of thunderstorms are heading our way and I wonder what new life the rain will bring forth. Nature patiently teaches us the beauty of change.  Nothing can stay the same, nor would we want and unchanging landscape to greet us each day.  Her subtle shifts between each season soften our Hearts to the unpredictability of life.

Love to ALL!
Lee


A Passion For Purple – Venus Looking Glass

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Nature shares the wisdom of the Universe with all who listen. ~ Lee Hiller

One of my favorite Wildflowers are beginning to appear along the Goat Rock Trail.  The rick purple blossoms of the Venus Looking Glass populate the tall green stalks rising up toward the spring sun.

This is a wonderful time to explore as Nature continues to reveal more beautiful Wildflowers.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Nature Shows me her Baby Blue-Eyes

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Wildflowers whisper to my Heart with the poetry of spring. ~ Lee Hiller’

Nature is showing off her Baby Blue-Eyes this May.  Each year they blanket the rise along the Tufa Terrace Trail in a glorious display of purplish blue.  To learn more about these beauties visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Love to ALL!
Lee

 


Beautiful Beings in the Awakening Springs Forest

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Morning light illuminates the path toward Dreams remembered in silent slumber. ~ Lee Hiller

Love to ALL!
Lee


Spring Wings and Wildflowers

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Each moment holds a Universe of life waiting to be seen. ~ Lee Hiller


A Lovely Spring Morning on the Trail

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I awaken each day to the beautiful gift of yesterday’s tomorrow. ~ Lee Hiller

Love to ALL!
Lee


White-Eyed Vireo, A Pair of Chickadees and a Chipmunk

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Every action ripples across the Universe to recreate the future. ~ Lee Hiller

Along each trail Nature reveals her spring secrets… A pair of Chickadees collecting greens for their nest, a glorious White-Eyed Vireo, a lovely Chipmunk, Pearl Crecent Butterfly and Wildflowers.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Hello Spring!

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My Soul seeks to see life through the lens of Nature’s perspective. ~ Lee Hiller

I love early morning light in the Forest.  Slowly rising the sun awakens a sweet song of life which echos across the Tree tops.  A song to my Soul as I move gently along the trails in Hot Springs National Park.

Love to ALL!
Lee


A burst of Spring Leaves and Wildflowers

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We blossom in the light of our Dreams. ~ Lee Hiller

Nature is unleashing her spring pallet to create an ever changing landscape.  Each day I loose myself in the transformation of the tallest Trees lining the trails and the sprouting of the tiniest Wildflowers spreading out along the Forest floor. Close your eyes, abandon the constraints of form and feel Spring.

Love to ALL!
Lee


Spring Poetry Cadence in Pink and Purple

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Wildflowers whisper to my Heart with the poetry of spring. ~ Lee Hiller

Love to ALL!
Lee


Spring Beauty Emerges in the Forest

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Peaceful hearts commune with Nature never seeking to destroy her beauty. ~ Lee Hiller

Get outside and Play today…

Love to ALL!
Lee


Another Wave of Ice and Snow in Hot Springs National Park

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Each note of Nature’s symphony renews my Soul. ~ Lee Hiller

Winter made another visit to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The have open Cherry Blossoms froze and tiny Sparrows puffed up to hold back the 11 degree F temperature.  As I head up into Hot Springs National Park the ice covering the branches and the trails becomes thicker. Lovely ice jewels hang from evergreen fronds and yet to fall autumn Leaves.

Love to ALL!
Lee